The show must go on, but not in Gand­hi­na­gar…

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A big let-down for In­dian ap­parel ex­porters

With high hopes, nearly 300 ap­parel ex­porters par­tic­i­pated at Tex­tiles In­dia 2017 event, only to end up with se­ri­ous dis­ap­point­ment in the ab­sence of good num­ber of buy­ers and de­cent ba­sic ameni­ties. No doubt, rain also played a spoil­sport but many other con­trol­lable is­sues too cre­ated a mess for these ex­porters as well as over­seas buy­ers. Ap­parel On­line in­ter­acted with some of them and they were loud and clear about their bad ex­pe­ri­ences about this event. Some of the ex­porters even in­sisted about not par­tic­i­pat­ing any more in this event if it oc­curs again at Gand­hi­na­gar. Even many over­seas buy­ers were miffed over such anom­alies.

To ex­plain a few of the fail­ures that were ev­i­dent, there was no proper and timely dis­tri­bu­tion of badges and no req­ui­site in­fra­struc­ture avail­able, both at the fair and in the city (such as un­avail­abil­ity of qual­ity ho­tels, poor con­nec­tiv­ity with Ahmedabad where ex­porters were stay­ing, lack of con­ve­nient food court at the event, etc.). To add fuel to the fire, the open­ing of the fair for pub­lic on the last day ad­di­tion­ally cre­ated a sense of com­mo­tion. Ex­porters were also very ir­ri­tated see­ing some kids sell­ing tea in the fair and near the booths when the In­dian ap­parel ex­port in­dus­try is highly con­cerned and com­mit­ted to follow com­pli­ance norms.

Mumbai-based Adiba Fashions closed its booth in the af­ter­noon on the sec­ond day it­self. Mo­hammed Shaikh, Di­rec­tor of the com­pany in­formed AOI, “Our in­dus­try friends pushed us to par­tic­i­pate and as­sured

about good foot­fall, but no buy­ers were to be seen, and only the lo­cal pub­lic was vis­it­ing the show. There was no point wast­ing time here and han­dling the lo­cal pub­lic.”

Ra­jat Agar­wal, Part­ner, DS Ex­ports, Noida, high­light­ing wom­enswear and scarves at the fair, shared some sim­i­lar views as he in­formed, “It was a very bad ex­pe­ri­ence. Even on the sec­ond day, the lo­cal crowd was com­ing with no clue about this kind of setup. They were touch­ing and pulling down our prod­ucts, and even ask­ing us for one single piece. We put in our ef­fort, cost and time to make these sam­ples. It was quite frus­trat­ing to see such be­hav­iour of the pub­lic. Be­sides, when we were talk­ing to the buy­ers, lo­cal peo­ple were in­ter­fer­ing in our con­ver­sa­tion…; now this was very dis­ap­point­ing… We ex­hib­ited be­cause of the B2B na­ture of the fair, and not B2C. We some­times felt we were prob­a­bly in the wrong show and should not have been here. There were also no ef­forts to­wards clean­li­ness, be it rain­wa­ter log­ging or toi­lets, they were all in a mess.” Some of the ex­porters even raised ques­tions on the over­seas buy­ers’ qual­ity, as Har­ish Dua, MD, KG Ex­ports, Lud­hi­ana and Pres­i­dent, Knitwear & Ap­parel Ex­porters Or­ga­ni­za­tion, Lud­hi­ana, lamented, “It was our first ever par­tic­i­pa­tion in this type of sourc­ing fair but I am very much dis­heart­ened and will not par­tic­i­pate again in this event. There were few buy­ers who were present for vis­it­ing pur­pose only and not for se­ri­ous sourc­ing. I saw buy­ers wait­ing al­most for three hours at the counter to get their re­im­burse­ment. I spoke to some buy­ers and tried to know about their or­der quan­ti­ties, busi­ness etc., but they were un­able to tell even these ba­sic things.” Thus, he be­lieved that it did not have any of the traits of an in­ter­na­tional fair. The com­pany dis­played Tees at Tex­tiles In­dia and is con­tin­u­ously ex­pand­ing its pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity. Aastha Kapoor, Cre­ative Di­rec­tor, Af­ford­able Ex­ports, Delhi, dis­cussed her per­spec­tive on the event, “The show was crappy, there was no san­i­ta­tion; some peo­ple from the gen­eral pub­lic even vom­ited

near one of the booths, but nobody was there to clean-up. None of the coun­cils took care of this. We are fed-up and are not go­ing to come here again for sure.” She briefed that the or­ga­niz­ing body was busy im­press­ing the Prime Min­is­ter and man­aged the whole fair in a poor way.

Gu­jarat-based ex­hibitors were very much keen be­fore the show as they had a strong be­lief that this mega event will pro­mote Ahmedabad or even Gu­jarat in an in­ter­na­tional sce­nario, es­pe­cially ap­parel manufacturing which is a grow­ing seg­ment, but things did not turn out well. Amit Gord­han­das, MD, Das­sani Global Group, Ahmedabad said, “On day one, some of the buy­ers left from the fair ground as they didn’t get their badges. I saw more than 150 over­seas buy­ers wait­ing for the badges and they were so up­set that they ‘shouted’ at the staff. We were here in an in­ter­na­tional show and the con­di­tions we saw here were much lower than the gen­eral In­dian stan­dards. Many buy­ers even left the fair grounds to use de­cent wash­rooms else­where.”

Ex­porters also raised ques­tions on CII, the or­ga­nizer of this event as well as Gand­hi­na­gar as a place for such a show. Vivek Khan­del­wal of Pat­terns In­dia, Jaipur and Past Pres­i­dent of Gar­ment Ex­porters As­so­ci­a­tion of Ra­jasthan (GEAR), shared, “Gand­hi­na­gar is not the right des­ti­na­tion for over­seas buy­ers. Pri­mar­ily it is an over­seas show, and over­seas buy­ers pre­fer to land di­rectly in Delhi and have

PRADEEP NA­HATA, MD, KARNI EX­PORTS, JAIPUR, SHOWED

A LONG HAND­WRIT­TEN LET­TER AD­DRESSED TO MOT. HIGH­LIGHT­ING ALL THE ABOVE MEN­TIONED IS­SUES, HE ASKED THE MOT TO GIVE BACK THE PAR­TIC­I­PA­TION FEES WITH PROPER COM­PEN­SA­TION BE­CAUSE THE FAIR WAS A TO­TAL FAIL­URE FROM HIS POINT OF VIEW. HE TWEETED IN SE­RIES ABOUT THESE IS­SUES

TAG­GING PRIME MIN­IS­TER NAREN­DRA MODI.

a show there, rather than go­ing to other cities via Delhi. Se­condly, AEPC is a bet­ter or­ga­ni­za­tion with vast ex­pe­ri­ence of or­ga­niz­ing shows, but CII doesn’t have that kind of ex­po­sure or ex­pe­ri­ence. Gen­eral fa­cil­i­ties and am­bi­ence here were not quite sat­is­fac­tory; for ex­am­ple, halls were not in­ter­con­nected. I don’t find any rea­son that why the show was done here.”

Pat­tern In­dia from Jaipur high­lighted ex­pen­sive em­broi­deries, den­ims and yarn dyed in its dis­play as Vivek feels that these three prod­ucts are high in de­mand. Anant Jain, Part­ner, Ratan Tex­tiles, Jaipur, also voted for Delhi be­ing a bet­ter place to do the show and raised ques­tions over the tim­ing of the show as July-end was a bet­ter op­tion.

Jitesh Chan­dra, Se­nior Fab­ric Man­ager of Trend Set­ters In­ter­na­tional, Delhi stated, “Buy­ers were less in this show com­pared to Delhi-based shows while we were ex­pect­ing more buy­ers be­cause of the com­bined ef­forts of all ex­port pro­mo­tion coun­cils.” The com­pany used many value ad­di­tion tech­niques like em­broi­deries, lace work and print­ing in its col­lec­tion.

Pradeep Na­hata, MD, Karni Ex­ports, Jaipur, showed a long hand­writ­ten let­ter ad­dressed to

MOT. High­light­ing all the above men­tioned is­sues, he asked the MOT to give back the par­tic­i­pa­tion fees with proper com­pen­sa­tion be­cause the fair was a to­tal fail­ure from his point of view. He tweeted in se­ries about these is­sues tag­ging Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi.

A buyer tak­ing the sup­port of a wooden plank due to rain­wa­ter log­ging

WHAT WENT WRONG

• No proper and timely dis­tri­bu­tion of badges

• Un­avail­abil­ity of

qual­ity ho­tels

• Open­ing of the fair for pub­lic on the last day

• Kids sell­ing tea in

the fair

Har­ish Dua, (R) MD, KG Ex­ports, Lud­hi­ana with his team mem­ber Vi­nay

Garbage on day 1, at the back gate of Hall No. 6. It was re­moved on 2nd day

Jaya Bach­wani (L), Mer­chan­diser and Aastha Kapoor, Cre­ative Di­rec­tor, Af­ford­able Ex­ports

Ra­jat Agar­wal, Part­ner, DS Ex­ports

At some booths, rain­wa­ter was seep­ing through the roof, and ex­hibitors used dust­bins for the same

Hema Khan­del­wal (L) and Vivek Khan­del­wal (R) from Pat­terns In­dia with Richa Rawat, Manglam Arts (C)

Sachin Sureka (L), Mar­ket­ing Man­ager and Vishaal Verma, Di­vi­sional Man­ager – Mer­chan­dis­ing, Shahi Ex­ports

(L-R) – Pradeep Joshi, Mer­chan­diser; Vi­jay Jaiswal, DMM and Prakash Bisht, Store in-charge, Ori­ent Craft

Pradeep Na­hata, MD, Karni Ex­ports, Jaipur

Jitesh Chan­dra, Se­nior Fab­ric Man­ager, Trend Set­ters In­ter­na­tional, Delhi

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